My birthday was yesterday and went pretty dang well, I must say. It was a busy day, but a happy day!
I started off my day at the gym, like usual. I took a class from one of the instructors I had given a card to and was a little anxious about what her reaction might be. She wished me happy birthday and then later on in class she sidled up to me and said, "By the way, your card was amazing."
She went on to say that her son saw the picture I drew and said it was so good they should frame it. She mentioned how much it meant to her and how sweet it was of me. We chatted a bit more and I felt really good and relieved that my card had been well received!
At the end of class she came up to me again and handed me an envelope. "I totally had this before you even gave me your card, I swear!" I opened it and saw a lot of writing so I decided to wait and read it in my car.
The message was so sweet. She mentioned how happy she was for me and how she was so proud of all the progress I've made and just amazed at how far I've come and what I've been through (I had shared my story with her before, so she knows about the whole twisted tale). She went on to say that she hoped I had a wonderful birthday and that she hopes to be around for my next birthday to see just how far I go this year.
I went home and relaxed a bit. Took a bit of extra time to pick out a "nice" outfit, do my hair, even put on makeup! I had class that afternoon and right before I worked up my courage to write a Facebook post that I had been contemplating... It included a selfie and blurb about what this birthday means to me as well as a thank you to any friends, family, providers, instructors, etc. that I hadn't thanked yet. It was a bit scary but felt so good (since then it has been well received so I feel relieved and encouraged!).
I picked up Baby Bananaface and we headed to the hubster's office. I had picked up chocolates as a Valentine's Day surprise and haphazardly hid them around his office (I also hid some around his morning routine route, he had to find 14 little individually wrapped chocolates all together).
We continued on south and met my parents, my sister, and my nephew for dinner. My brother couldn't make it but it did send along a card and that meant a lot to me. I made sure to say a formal thanks to my family for all that they've done to help me make it to my birthday. My mom and I cried but it was a good cry!
One of the highlights of the dinner was playing Soundball while we waited for the check. It is a game I learned at DBT and entails throwing an invisible ball to random people in the group-but that's not all. Before someone throws the ball, they have to repeat the sound that the person throwing it to them made up. Then they have to make up their own silly sound for the next person to repeat.
Things got serious. Lemme tell ya! We were laughing til we had tears in our eyes! Some of the noises were quite challenging and odd. By the end of it we weren't even doing the ball-throwing motion, but including our own random movements for the next person to mimic along with the goofy sounds! It was really fun and I really enjoyed myself.
The hubster and I a rather interesting conversation on the way home from dinner. My mom had made a comment at dinner that I'm "a completely different person" now and it made me wonder, who am I really? What was I before if not myself?
The hubby, as usual, seemed to have an answer without even needing time to mull it over.
He said something along the lines of, "I think you were repressed before. It was more than just the depression and anxiety being out of control. You weren't able to be yourself, your true self, for a long time."
This stirred my mental pot further. I was confused and concerned about how bubbly and energetic and social I've been. Maybe my birthday thank yous mission and cards were creepy or over-dramatic. I wondered aloud, "What if this isn't really me and I'm actually hypomanic right now?"
"Ahh. Well that's a good point. I think, though, that if you were hypomanic you'd be having sleep issues. You'd be more focused on big to-do lists and pursuing lots of projects and overextending yourself. You would have lost focus on what's important, what's healthy."
"So maybe, I'm not being hypomanic, I'm just not quite comfortable with me being... me yet? Like it's still unfamiliar and feels unsafe? That would make sense." I smiled and then frowned with further concerns. "But wait, if I wasn't me before, why would you have married me? Was I just depressed and awful all the time? How could you know the real me if I wasn't the real me?"
He laughed and smirked in his special way, patting me on the leg. "Because the good times were amazing. When we met, you were doing well. You'd talk about fun little chats and moments with the customers at the bank you worked at all the time. You gave me notes and doodles and little surprises. Sure, when the bad times came you were different, but I always knew the good side-the real you-that was underneath. It's been there all along."
It's all still confusing and a bit "who's on first" to me, but that chat felt really good and helped clear a lot of things up. I've still got a ways to go when it comes to accepting myself and building the confidence that will help me maintain my stability and life a successfully happy and healthy life, but I'm headed in the right direction. Day-by-day I'll get there.
It makes me cry thinking about how long he's been there for me. Recognizing and appreciating just how much he's helped me through, how he's stood by side and believed through it all that we'd find the real me through all that darkness. His faith and strength and resolve is stunning.
He's taught me so much about what love really is and I look forward to learning even more together. I really can't ask for anything more. He is my hero and so much more than I ever imagined a husband could be. Nobody's perfect, but I think we're perfect together and that's all that matters.
Thank you for all the birthday wishes :o)
Happy Valentines Day everybody :o)